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Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

U.S. President

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Presidential message, Dec. 25, 1927

The only difference between a mob and a trained army is organization.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Edward Elwell Whiting's Calvin Coolidge

Peace will come when there is realization that only under a reign of law, based on righteousness and supported by the religious conviction of the brotherhood of man, can there be any hope of a complete and satisfying life. Parchment will fail, the sword will fail, it is only the spiritual nature of man that can be triumphant.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

Never go out to meet trouble. If you will just sit still, nine cases out of ten someone will intercept it before it reaches you.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, The Man from Vermont

The man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Have Faith in Massachusetts

Teaching is one of the noblest of professions. It requires an adequate preparation and training, patience, devotion, and a deep sense of responsibility. Those who mold the human mind have wrought not for time, but for eternity.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 4, 1924

Education should be the handmaid of citizenship.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 4, 1924

When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, quoted in The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations

Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been placed upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Have Faith in Massachusetts

A display of reason rather than a threat of force should be the determining factor in the intercourse among nations.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control. Where ever the cause of liberty is making its way, one of its highest accomplishments is the guarantee of the freedom of the press.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

The proper presentation of the news bears about the same relation to the whole field of happenings that a painting does to a photograph. The photograph might give the more accurate presentation of details, but in doing so it might sacrifice the opportunity the more clearly to delineate character.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 6, 1922

One of the greatest dangers to peace lies in the economic pressure to which people find themselves subjected. One of the most practical things to be done in the world is to seek arrangements under which such pressure may be removed, so that opportunity may be renewed and hope may be revived.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

If we wish to erect new structures, we must have a definite knowledge of the old foundations.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, telegram to Samuel Gompers, Sep. 14, 1919

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, quote from program at Coolidge memorial service, 1933

I have found out in the course of a long public life that the things I did not say never hurt me.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, The Man from Vermont

If a painting of a tree was only the exact representation of the original, so that it looked just like the tree, there would be no reason for making it; we might as well look at the tree itself. But the painting, if it is of the right sort, gives something that neither a photograph nor a view of the tree conveys. It emphasizes something of character, quality, individuality. We are not lost in looking at thorns and defects; we catch a vision of the grandeur and beauty of a king of the forest.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

We draw our Presidents from the people. It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people. I came from them. I wish to be one of them again.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

When each citizen submits himself to the authority of law he does not thereby decrease his independence or freedom, but rather increases it. By recognizing that he is a part of a larger body which is banded together for a common purpose, he becomes more than an individual, he rises to a new dignity of citizenship. Instead of finding himself restricted and confined by rendering obedience to public law, he finds himself protected and defended and in the exercise of increased and increasing rights.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, May 30, 1924

One with the law is a majority.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, New York Times, Jul. 28, 1920

American ideals do not require to be changed so much as they require to be understood and applied.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 4, 1924

The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 27, 1920

I should be very sorry to see the United States holding anyone in confinement on account of any opinion that that person might hold. It is a fundamental tenet of our institutions that people have a right to believe what they want to believe and hold such opinions as they want to hold without having to answer to anyone for their private opinion.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, press conference, Aug. 21, 1923

One of the greatest perils to an extensive republic is the disregard of individual rights.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jun. 30, 1924

If we expect others to rely on our fairness and justice we must show that we rely on their fairness and justice.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

We need more of the Office Desk and less of the Show Window in politics. Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Have Faith in Massachusetts

If there is to be responsible party government, the party label must be something more than a mere device for securing office. Unless those who are elected under the same party designation are willing to assume sufficient responsibility and exhibit sufficient loyalty and coherence, so that they can cooperate with each other in the support of the broad general principles, of the party platform, the election is merely a mockery, no decision is made at the polls, and there is no representation of the popular will.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

A government must govern, must prescribe and enforce laws within its sphere or cease to be a government. Moreover, the individual must be independent and free within his own sphere or cease to be an individual. The fundamental question ... is now, and always will be through what adjustments, by what actions, these principles may be applied.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, May 30, 1924

The chief business of the American people is business.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

While legislation can stimulate and encourage, the real creative ability which builds up and develops the country, and in general makes human existence more tolerable and life more complete, has to be supplied by the genius of the people themselves. The Government can supply no substitute for enterprise.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 4, 1924

Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jun. 11, 1928

It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 25, 1924

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 25, 1924

Because of what America is and what America has done, a firmer courage, a higher hope, inspires the heart of all humanity.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, inaugural address, Mar. 4, 1925

There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Nov. 27, 1920

If we are to have that harmony and tranquility, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech at American Legion Convention in Omaha, Nebraska, "Toleration and Liberalism", October 6, 1925

The two great political parties of the nation have existed for the purpose, each in accordance with its own principles, of undertaking to serve the interests of the whole nation. Their members of the Congress are chosen with that great end in view.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Memorial Day address, May 30, 1923

It is necessary to have party organization if we are to have effective and efficient government. The only difference between a mob and a trained army is organization, and the only difference between a disorganized country and one that has the advantage of a wise and sound government is fundamentally a question of organization.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, Calvin Coolidge: His Ideals of Citizenship as Revealed Through His Speeches and Writings

Patriotism is easy to understand.... It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, The Price of Freedom


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